anthony mackie - real steel*In the feature film “Real Steel,” opening Oct. 7, Anthony Mackie plays an underground fight promoter in 2020 – a time when robots have replaced human beings in the sport of boxing.

Hugh Jackman stars as a down-and-out boxer who is rendered irrelevant by the new fighting machines and reluctantly decides to team up with his son to build a robot that can kick some a** and win him a desperately-needed championship payday.

Mackie, whose character is like the Don King of boxing’s underworld, says he couldn’t help but think of the infamous wild-haired promoter when approaching his role.

“I’ve always loved boxing, I’ve always participated in male, professional, athletic, combat sports,” Mackie told us with a grin. “So when I got the script, I read it and I was like, ‘This dude is amazing.’ If I think of Don King how he got to where he was, I look at him like [my character], you know, fighting to lay the groundwork to control and create something that’s unlike everything else.”

Inevitably, Jackman and Mackie’s character Finn come face to face [see clips below], and Mackie says he was shocked to discover that the Aussie film and Broadway star is actually not an “a**hole.”

Listen below:

Real Steel’s Anthony Mackie says Hugh Jackman has every right to be an a–hole, but isn’t by CherieNic